Medialab@HfG – Makerplace or waste of space?
Social design, 2018, Oct–Feb
The media lab is a communal space and workshop for all students at HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd ↗. We worked on how the design of the media lab could encourage students to use it independently and let them participate in shaping the space. Our intention is to promote exchange, exploration of technology and self-study.
Context The media lab of our university is a communal space and workshop for all students. In 2018 it remains closed due to a lack of personnel. Our goal is to revive the space. The organisation should be able to be managed independently by students.
ChallengeWhat is desirable for the media laboratory? In several workshops we work out solutions together with the first-semester students. How can they take part in ideation, design and decision making for reinventing the room?
OutcomeThe project consists of two parts: The documentation of the participatory design process and the "Tech Showcase", a collection of interactive technology demonstrations.
We wanted to create a lasting effect, which is why we collaborated with the people that will use the media lab the next three years: First semester students. Over a period of nine weeks we organized workshops to investigate problems and develop solutions. We provided an insight into design methodology for summarizing and evaluating the collected data and ideas. In a "rapid prototyping" workshop we quickly put ideas into practice. Furthermore, we provide feedback on the process and the ideas.
Take a look at their workshop results ↗
Part 2: Inputs, Outputs & Code
The Tech Showcase creates access and fosters interest in experimentation. Elementary technical concepts and relevant program code are shown in a way that is understandable even for beginners. It helps students to assess possibilities and limitations of certain technologies and assess designing for it.
Concept Mounted on each board is an Arduino which is connected to a single component with visible wiring. When the board is plugged in via USB, students receive an interactive demonstration explaining the part’s input and output capabilities.